Friday, March 13, 2009

Final toll shows 960 civilians killed in Gaza

That’s the tally compiled by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights on the human cost of Israel’s Gaza campaign in January. The Centre found that out of 1,434 Palestinians killed in Gaza, only 235 were identified as ‘fighters’ (Hamas or otherwise), with policemen making up another 239 of the casualties - that means four out of every six people (or five of six depending on how you count the cops) killed in the conflict were non-combatants.

The Israeli military continues to claim that they made “every effort to minimize harm to the civilian population,” though that seemed to amount to their calling homes in Gaza and suggesting that people evacuate to safer places. The problem with that concept is that Israel (and in the south Egypt) closed all of the border crossings, and even maintained a naval blockade off the coast, effectively preventing the Gazans from getting to ‘someplace safe’ - it's a lot like suggesting to a goldfish that it might want to consider leaving its bowl.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights adds that along with the 1,400 killed more than 5,000 more Gazans were injured in the fighting, according to the Ministry of Health, with the bulk again being civilians. They also called for an international war crimes investigation into the Israeli military’s actions.
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